Identity and Passport Service

Parliamentary & Correspondence Management Team

4th Floor, Peel Building

2 Marsham Street




Tel        (0207) 901 8889

Fax       (0870) 336 9175

Email  hqenquiries@ips.gsi.gov.uk

Web       www.ips.gov.uk



Mr David Moss  



Reference:  FOICR 13728 /10


Date: 3 March 2010


Dear Mr Moss




I am sorry that we are still unable to reply substantively to your email of 6 January in which you asked to be provided with a copy of the detailed report of the competitive trials developed and run by IBM. 


I confirm that, since our last letter of 4 February, our considerations into your request are still ongoing.  As stated in our earlier letter, although the Act carries a presumption in favour of disclosure, it provides exemptions which may be used to withhold information in specified circumstances.  Some of these exemptions, referred to as ‘qualified exemptions’, are subject to a public interest test.  This test is used to balance the public interest in disclosure against the public interest in favour of withholding the information. The Act allows us to exceed the 20 working day response target where we need to consider the public interest test fully. 


The information which you have requested is being considered under the exemptions contained within sections 31(1)(e) 41(1) and 43(2) of the Act, which relate to law enforcement (the operation of immigration controls), information provided in confidence and commercial interests respectively. These are qualified exemption and to consider the public interest test fully we need to extend the 20 working day response period by another twenty days. We now aim to let you have a full response by 31 March 2010.


If you have any queries about the handling of your information request then please do not hesitate to contact me.      


Yours sincerely




H Reid

Parliamentary & Correspondence Management Team